This weekend I went to a convention with about 1,000 attendees. The speakers, presentations, and information were useful and worthy of the trip and a weekend. Other than the above, two things stood out as impressive reminders of Apple’s influence in the technology world.
First, iPads and iPhones were everywhere. From the back of the auditorium a sea of iPads were visible and nearly as many iPhones (attendees were taking notes, looking through the online schedule, checking out the biographies, etc.). It was a backwards view similar to that university photo which depicted an auditorium of students, most of whom were using Macs.
Lots of iPads and iPhones.
Second, Apple Watch was almost everywhere. This wasn’t an Apple convention but the number of Watches in attendance was as remarkable as the number of iPads and iPhones, and it reminded me of the iPod phenomenon back in the early years of the century. It took a few years, but all of a sudden those white iconic iPod earbuds were everywhere and Apple’s little media player that could did.
All those attendees with their Apple Watches got me to thinking about Apple’s next great thing. Apple Glasses.
Wait. What? Smartglasses? Didn’t Google kill that idea with the Borg-like Google Glass failure a few years ago? Well, they’re back. No, not the Google Glass model, but the cute ones from Snap. Spectacles. No, they don’t do much, but they help to make smartglasses socially acceptable again, and that’s all Apple needs for their own augmented reality glasses.
Despite the negative publicity, Apple’s Watch has begun the slow and steady trek into public consciousness; much like the iPod did more than a dozen years ago. Watch is not only trendy and fashionable, it’s a remarkably useful gadget which helps users to focus on time and efficiency, and their health.
Alright, let me drag out the O’Brien crystal ball and do some palm reading (mixed metaphors were on sale at Jewel). What does Apple future bring? Glasses.
Apple Glasses will be smartglasses that take functions from iPhone but makes them even more visible and convenient thanks to augmented reality– the ability to place information over the lenses which merges the visible reality with useful information about a location, or displays timely alerts and notifications– but done in a stylish and non-Borg-like way. Juniper Research’s latest guesstimate says smartglasses will be a thing over the next few years, hitting $9-billion by 2021. Too much? The smartwatch market is just a few years old and has exceeded that number already.
Snap’s Spectacles (from the image above) are helping to pave the way for Apple’s smartglasses market dominance. I know. Hubris, right? But look around at the computing technology gadget fields today and what do you see? Apple is everywhere– Mac in PCs, iPhone in smartphones, iPad in tablets, Watch in smartwatches– and who leads in mindshare and profits?
Thanks to improved sensors, ever smaller and higher quality cameras, battery technology which allows batteries to take different shapes, smartglasses are about to make a comeback with Apple on top, as always.